Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT
If you’re anything like me, the mere mention of the term midlife crisis conjures the familiar image of the balding man in the brand new sports car, top down, with the obligatory young blonde sitting front passenger. There was a time that middle aged men had that market cornered when it came to this topic. Be not fooled, women experience it too and in actuality, signs of a midlife crisis are more vast than this age-old scenario. For example, did you know that adults in their 20’s and 30’s often experience midlife crisis’? Only approximately 10% of adults experience it later in life.
People who drastically change his or her behavior very quickly may be having a midlife crisis. Perhaps you’re simply looking to improve your life and circumstances. This isn’t necessarily a crisis but it certainly helps to know the difference. So how can you tell if you’re having a midlife crisis?
Here some questions to ask yourself:
Are you suddenly panicking about your health?
Are you spending a lot of time at the gym? Are you fixated on your appearance or perhaps even looking for a new body?
Is your life, which used to make you very happy, all of the sudden making you miserable?
Are you dwelling on difficult questions that don’t have an easy obvious answer such as “Isn’t there more to life? Why am I here?” or “Did I make the right decision 20 years ago when I decided to have a family instead of pursue a career?” or even “Who AM I?”
Are you spending a lot of time fearful about where your life is headed? Is your "life' not good enough anymore? Are you comparing yourself to your friends in a regretful or remorseful way?
Is your spouse not fulfilling your needs any longer? Are you looking for someone younger, better looking and perhaps looking for adventure?
What do you do if you have answered yes to most of these questions?
Ask for help. Talk to a friend, a pastor, or maybe even a counselor.
Talk to your spouse who can likely identify with what you’re going through.
I know a couple who communicated about their midlife crisis and it turns out they were experiencing it at the same time. They chose to travel together during this time. They came back to ‘reality’ a much stronger couple, looking forward to sharing the rest of their lives together. It’s amazing what communication can do.
Think about your choices. Just because you want to escape doesn't mean you must escape. Think to yourself “this might just be a ‘phase’ and it will pass”.
Reflect on the good things in your life. Remember wonderful memories your family shares together. Are you ready to give those up?
Whatever is going on in your life think about what is practical. Remember it is not easy to start over. Follow your heart, it usually leads you in the right direction.